It’s been about two months since I took a pretty big leap of faith. After spending 8 years in the corporate world, beginning in pharma/medical device sales, then to digital marketing, and building a strong foundation in social strategy and consulting – I’ve left that space. I’m now doing what I’ve dreamed of for quite some time, bridging my passion of food, creativity and business into what feels like the greatest gift.
If you talk to anybody who has taken this path, they’ll tell you it comes with a bundle of emotions. It’s exciting, anxiety provoking, freeing, frustrating and wonderful all at the same time. I’d been working up to this point for about two years, knowing that while I loved my job here, my heart was being tugged in other directions.
So I began working on freelance projects, writing my book and pouring more of my heart into this space while also working full-time. My plan was to build up experience and my personal brand before taking the leap, to make it less scary and feel a little more secure.
I did just that, and on March 19th I became my own boss, grinning ear to ear. My days are now happily filled with brand consulting & strategizing, recipe development, food styling & photography and copywriting projects.
But I have to admit, it has has shed some light on my Type A personality, both a blessing and a curse. No matter how much planning I do, projects or consulting sessions I have on the books, there is still that feeling that more is needed. Late nights, early mornings, the need to always be “doing”.
It’s something I’ve always struggled with. I know I need to manage the “never good enough” attitude if I want to be healthy enough to do anything.
Instead of looking at it as a negative trait, which I often fall into the trap of doing, I have a new perspective thanks to an online friend I had the pleasure of meeting in person while I was in California (more on the trip in another post – including my visit to the Cat Cafe).
It all starts with self compassion. As we sat and discussed what that meant for all parts of health, both mental and physical, it resonated with me.
She mentioned the willingness to work with your traits or situations, not against them. Deciding that you are going to embrace these things as a gift and actively find the blessing in them is self compassion. It should feel like loving acceptance, moving towards the things that cause you trouble and trusting the journey you’re on.
It’s not something that happens overnight, but an ever evolving process of self growth and awareness. It’s a shift in how I meet life each day. And having this to focus on has given me a new light to lean on.
With the change in my daily schedule, I absolutely love being home more to cook and create all the time.
The combination of roasted cauliflower, roasted grapes and rosemary comes from one of my earliest recipes, that actually got picked up by Food & Wine Magazine this year, part of their January 2015 issue. It was pretty exciting to find it snuggled amongst the pages, thanks to an Instagram friend spotting it.
I wanted to turn the recipe into a main dish from a side so I made garlic rubbed cauliflower steaks, paired with a simple chutney of the deeply flavored roasted grapes, rosemary, and shallots. If you’ve never roasted grapes, you’ll be amazed at the caramelized sweetness. In fact, it’s a great way to rescue any kind of fruit that’s near spoiling.
For the cauliflower:
1 medium to large head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Chutney:
1 1/2 cups red grapes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss grapes with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast for 18-20 minutes, until grapes are softened and shriveled. The juices will start to lightly caramelize. Meanwhile, bring remaining olive oil to medium heat in a small skillet. Add remaining rosemary & salt, shallots, and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened. Remove from heat, and stir in grapes when they are finished roasting. Set aside.
Trim the leaves from the cauliflower and some of the stem if it is quite large. Starting at top center of cauliflower head, cut two or three (1-inch) thick slices of cauliflower, cutting through stem end. Rub steaks carefully with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt. Cut the piece of garlic in half and rub the cut side over the entire service of the steaks.
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in heavy large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower steaks to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Then pour 1 1/2 tablespoons water into skillet and quickly cover. Cook for 3 minutes – this will help cook the cauliflower all the way through. Remove cover and cook for 2 minutes longer, until cauliflower is mostly tender.
Serve steaks hot or at room temperature, with chutney served over the top.